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     Volume 7 Issue 44 | November 7, 2008 |

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Photo Feature

Illuminating Dhaka's History

Photos: Zahedul I Khan

Present day Dhaka maybe a kaleidoscope of traffic jams, hideous billboards and shopping malls but the 400-year history of the city is spread out with rich culture of the Mughal era. Under Mughal rule in the 17th century, the city was known as Jahangirnagar, and was both a provincial capital and a centre of the worldwide muslin trade. The modern city was developed chiefly under British rule in the 19th century. Through the passage of time Dhaka has become the centre of political, cultural and economic life in Bangladesh.

The great Lalbagh Fort was constructed in the mid 17th century by Shaista Khan, the greatest Mughal governor of Bengal, with a remarkable victory against the Arakanese, present day Myanmar. What better place to celebrate the city's 400-year birthday than this historic landmark? Organised by Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) a light-and-sound show was arranged to great success. Next models walked down the ramp at Lalbagh Fort representing the Mughals, the British, the Khelafat Movement, the war of Liberation, and the Bengali New Year. Classical music played in the background while 80 models displayed outfits worn by people from all backgrounds during the last 400 years in Dhaka. Designers Emdad Hoque, Tootli Rahman, Kuhu and Bibi Russel brought forth their finest creations. There was also traditional Dhaka food for the guests. Our Mughal, colonial and struggles of the past came alive in an ostentatious show of colour, light and sound.

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